A Valentine’s Gift For You

Valentine’s day is a hard day when you are dealing with betrayal trauma. Even if you are still with your partner it can be a day filled with ambivalence. Part of you loves your spouse. Part of you hates your spouse. If you have lost your relationship due to betrayal, Valentine’s day can be incredibly lonely and a day that brings a fresh wave of grief about all that you have lost.

So today, I want to give you a little present, to help you get through this Valentine’s day, whatever your situation and wherever you are in the process.

This present is a poem by Ranier Maria Rilke’s found in the Book of Hours. This little book of poems was one of my steadfast companions when I was in the middle of dealing with betrayal and a well-loved, dog -eared copy stayed by my bedside for several years. Whenever I cracked it, I was able to find something that met me wherever I happened to be that day.

I went and dug that book out today looking for one particular poem to send to you all. I haven’t read it now for many years and looking through it brings me right back to the rollercoaster ride of being a betrayed partner.

The poem below is one that I read repeatedly. It helped to remind me that there was more going on in my life and in my healing then I knew.  It reminded me of who I was, what I longed for, and helped me maintain faith and hope even when things were bleak. So, I offer it to you today, from my heart to yours, to remind you of the same things. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Du siehst, ich will viel

You see, I want a lot.

Maybe I want it all:

the darkness of each endless fall,

the shimmering light of each ascent.

So many are alive who don’t seem to care.

Casual, easy, they move in the world

as though untouched.

But you take pleasure in the faces

of those who knew they thirst.

You cherish those

who grip you for survival.

You are not dead yet, it’s not too late

to open your depths by plunging into them

and drink in the life

that reveals itself quietly there.

~Ranier Maria Rilke


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